U.S., Portuguese airmen team up for helicopter unload

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Beja Air Base, Portugal, is abuzz with activity as nearly 3,000 service members and 40 aircraft from nine NATO and allied nations take part in Exercise Trident Juncture 2015.

It was hard to decide which unit to cover first, as each one is here to perform a specific mission that is critical to the overall success of this year’s exercise. However, one unit, the 41st Rescue Squadron assigned to the 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, is here to perform a very unique mission — search and rescue — with their primary airframe, the HH60G Pave Hawk helicopter. And according to our Portuguese counterparts, this was the first time this type of airframe was seen on the Beja Air Base flightline

Before the 41st RQS could get up and running here, they had to coordinate with several U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and Portuguese air force transportation and logistics units, to deliver and unload the equipment and personnel needed to perform their mission.

Senior Airman Kevin Dunn, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, was key to ensuring the 41st RQS was operational within five hours of landing on the flightline.

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It was all hands on deck when the first C-17 Globemaster III touched down on the flightline Wednesday morning carrying two Pave Hawk helicopters, equipment and personnel. This was also a unique opportunity for Spangdahlem Airmen to learn procedures of loading and unloading cargo aircraft from their Portuguese counterparts.

This is the first of many opportunities for Spangdahlem Airmen to work with NATO and allied partners during Trident Juncture 2015. The exercise takes place over the next few weeks facilitating training opportunities ranging from fighter and rescue missions to exchanging best practices among the nine nations.

Trident Juncture 2015 is a multiservice, multinational exercise to demonstrate NATO’s resolve, capability and capacity to meet present and future security challenges. It consists of more than 36,000 troops from 30 Nations and takes place in Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

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To see more photos of Exercise Trident Juncture visit the Spangdahlem Flickr page by following this link: http://bit.ly/1LN0YFk

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